New bill would shift burden of proof to prosecutors in "stand your ground" cases


  • Photo via Huffington Post
A controversial proposal to shift the burden of proof in "stand your ground" self-defense cases has been refiled in the Florida Senate.

Fleming Island Republican Rob Bradley on Thursday filed the measure (SB 128) for the 2017 legislative session, which starts in March. The bill would shift the burden of proof to prosecutors during evidentiary hearings in self-defense cases.

The bill stems from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that said defendants have the burden of proof to show they should be shielded from prosecution under the "stand your ground" law.

In "stand your ground" cases, pre-trial evidentiary hearings are held to determine whether defendants should be immune from prosecution. "The government has the burden of proof in a criminal case from the beginning of a case until the end," Bradley said in a prepared statement Thursday. "This fundamental premise is guaranteed in our Constitution and understood intuitively by all Floridians." The same proposal passed the Senate during the 2016 session but failed to get to the House floor. Bradley's bill joins other gun-related measures filed for the 2017 session.

Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, this week filed a bill (HB 6005) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns while on college and university campuses. A separate measure (HB 6001) by Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to bring guns into the passenger terminals of airports.


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